MEANING AND ETYMOLOGY Romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between persons of opposite sex or gender in the gender binary Refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectionate, physical or romantic attractions to persons of the opposite sex” It also refers to "an individual’s sense of personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them“
Hetero- comes from the Greek word έτερος [héteros], meaning "other party" or "another", used in science as a prefix meaning "different“ The Latin word for sex (that is, characteristic sex or sexual differentiation).
BIOLOGICAL STUDYPrenatal hormonal theory If there are few androgen receptors (people with androgen insensitivity syndrome) or too much androgen (females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia), there can be physical and psychological effects. It has been suggested that both male and female heterosexuality are results of variation in this process. Heterosexuality in females is linked to a lower amount of masculinization than is found in lesbian females, though when dealing with male heterosexuality there are results supporting both higher and lower degrees of masculinization than homosexual males.
PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY Sexual orientation describes an enduring pattern of attraction—emotional, romantic, sexual, or some combination of these—to the opposite sex, the same sex, or both sexes, and the genders that accompany them According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation also refers to a persons sense of "personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them."
SOCIAL AND HISTORICAL A heterosexual couple, a man and woman in an intimate relationship, form the core of a nuclear family Many societies throughout history have insisted that a marriage take place before the couple settle down, but enforcement of this rule or compliance with it has varied considerably. In some jurisdictions, when an unmarried man and women live together long enough, there are deemed to have established a common-law marriage.
RELIGIOUS VIEWS Religious traditions in the world reserve marriage to heterosexual unions, but there are exceptions including certain Buddhist and Hindu traditions, Unitarian Universalist, Metropolitan Community Church and some Anglican dioceses and some Quaker, United Church of Canada and Reform Jewish congregations Almost all religions believe sex between a man and a woman is allowed, but there are a few that believe that it is a sin, such as The Shakers, The Harmony Society, and The Ephrata Cloister The Catholic Church also views heterosexual marriage as sacred and necessary.